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Re: [Groff] Would I dare to post here?

From: Zvezdan Petkovic
Subject: Re: [Groff] Would I dare to post here?
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2005 19:38:03 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.4.2i

On Mon, Oct 17, 2005 at 01:08:27AM +1000, Miklos Somogyi wrote:
> The only "positive" is on your side, that you feel superior to the 
> other guy.
> But that's arrogance, not education, don't you agree?

I genuinely wondered why would someone overwrite system files,
when they will be overwritten back on the first update?

There wasn't a bit of intentional arrogance in my post,
although it apparently came through as such.
Sorry again.

You really do not realise that you are committing the same sin?
What makes you morally better than the other guy.
I bet you really never lost the patience.

> And we should know that arrogance has many nasty side effects.
> I still remember how much I wanted that little forerunner of a Unix 
> workstation, before Microsoft came along.
> How could it happen that they ate alive a technically far-far superior 
> and free Unix?
> I think that the arrogance of many of Unix's proponents had a lot to do 
> with it. Your dad is probably computationally
> literate and you certainly don't think that he is stupid. Now show him 
> a few Unix man pages and ask him
> to make sense of symlinks and Co.
> Would you tell him that he is no good, or would you realize that the  
> writers did not have the slightest clue about writing? They failed the 
> first test, that you should know who you are writing for.

With all due respect this is not true.
Professional UNIX systems (Solaris, HP-UX, ...)
didn't ask a user to read man pages. 
They provided graphical interfaces and help.
The problem is that they cost between $5000-10000.
That's why your dad couldn't afford them, so he bought a PC.

Are you saying that Microsoft help system is of any use to a clueless
user?  They are equally impenetrable as UNIX man pages.

Microsoft has won the race (at least for now) because of the
adopt-and-extend strategy.  They took what was good (adopt a windowing
environment of Macintosh and UNIX workstations), extended it to offer a
consistent look and feel, and (most importantly) packaged it with a
cheap PC that was an extensible architecture (using cheap ISA/PCI

Now, compare that with Sun machine running Solaris where you had to pay
$1000 for a replacement disk only.

That's why Microsoft succeeded.  Small business is exactly that, small.
They don't have money for expensive UNIX workstations and sysadmin to
maintain them.  They do not need all the reliability guarantees.
They buy a cheap PC.  But when you sum up all small businesses in the
world it amounts to a huge market share.

> Those who only know how to write for themselves, naturally try to make 
> a virtue out of their inability by insisting that the whole world now 
> should rise to their high level by reading this, analysing that,
> experiment with those, all Unix.

Off base, again.
The person in question asked about groff on OpenBSD.
That's a not-very-user-friendly typesetting system
on a not-very-user-friendly OS.
I exactly knew my audience.
I wasn't answering a question of some grandma who can't find Outlook
icon on a toolbar.

Since this is how this all started, please tell me what's so complicated
(uncivil) and only for myself about my FIRST post.

        "I'm using the same system.
        Put this into your .profile (or equivalent for (t)csh)

                MANPAGER="more -R"
                export MANPAGER

        Why did you need an upgrade of texinfo?
        groff works fine for me with the system default texinfo."

I'm repeating I knew where my audience is coming from.
A groff user on an OpenBSD.
The only problem seems to be that you want to make him something that
he's not.

I'm getting the feeling that you've got a grudge about something in
general and now using my post to vent it on the list.

> That they are designers of cars or rockets, and would rather spend time 
> to learn more about thermodynamics, just doesn't matter, because Unix
> is the one and all. Well, it is good, very good. But it is not all, it
> is not even at the top of the food chain.

In my case, when I started using UNIX I did that because I was designing
a new microprocessor and the programs I needed ran only on UNIX (I used
VAX before that).
But as every good craftsman I learned the tools of my trade.
You can't be a carpenter unless you learn how to use an adze.

And again, the guy wanted to use groff on UNIX, so your comparison is
off the base.

> I hope that you agree with this little perspective and then we can go 
> back to the wonders and problems of groff.
> With a bit of humility, if possible.

I agree.
We're way off the topic.
Trust me.  You've made your point.
I've learned something in the process. Never too late for that. :-)

        Zvezdan Petkovic

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